the tale of the clumsy chicken-whisperer

Baron Ludwig von Cuckenhagen had no ears but that wasn't the greatest of his faults. Nor, indeed, was his gargantuan appetite for raw chicken legs--or drumsticks as they were called in ancient times--on which he daily munched without interruption. No, his greatest fault lay in the enervating quality of his voice and gaze, both of which he applied to optimum effect whenever he could.

Now in those days chicken farmers were as plentiful as lice upon a dirty dog. So each and every day the Baron's minions would slink out of Squawk's Nest (von Cuckenhagen's castle) in a rather sinister way and slither through the forest until they reached the market in the village. I'm sure you've guessed what would happen next. The minions would seek out humble chicken farmers, and invite them to coffee with the Baron at Squawk's Nest.

On one particular occasion, there was, sadly, some trouble and strife in connection with a particular chicken farmer invited by the minions to coffee with von Cuckenhagen. This particular chicken farmer, you see, was blind and deaf, and thereby immune to the Baron's hypnotic blandishments re the acquisition of raw chicken legs. Zer only means of communication was haptic, which until that day had been sufficient for zer chicken-related purposes. (Ze was renowned throughout the land as a non-whispering chicken-whisperer and egg-smeller par excellence).

And thus it came to pass that when the chicken-whisperer met von Cuckenhagen in what the Baron called his "Lounge de'Cafe" (Cuckenhagen's French was very poor) on the mezzanine level of Squawk's Nest, a disaster of epic proportions occurred. As ze attempted to approach the Baron with a view to reading von Cuckenhausen's earless face haptically, the chicken-whisperer's big toe caught the edge of an evil flagstone, and ze stumbled then tripped then lurched into the coffee table, upending it gracelessly upon the hard and dusty floor (the significance of the dust will become clear momentarily).

And lo and behold, a catastrophe of universal lamentation ensued rapidly from that disaster of epic proportions which in turn had ensued from that trippy little accident. As it is written, so shall it be: the Baron's ceramic drumstick platter--which had long lived in grace and pristine glory upon the Baron's Table du Cafe (very poor French)--fell to the stony floor and shattered into shards of perplexity and devastation.

Betrayed by gravity, the drumsticks themselves which had lain so comfortably in blood-soaked puddles upon the platter went rolling and writhing across the hard and grimy floor until they settled within an inch or two from the Baron's leather-shod footsies.

It was as if time stood still just as it had for Joshua at Ajalon. And during that eternal moment two and only two thoughts reverberated re-entrant-style within von Cuckenhagen's earhole-less skull. The first concerned the destruction of the drumstick platter that had been in the Baron's family for generations, and the second concerned the hideous realisation that the drumsticks at his feet were too dust- and dirt-encrusted to be consumed by any von Cuckenhagen (an ancient noble family noted for their fastidiousness).

The Baron leapt from his throne in a raging red fury. And as he did so, he thoughtlessly tramped and trampled upon the slippery raw chicken legs at his feet. As push turns to shove and shove turns to slip, von Cuckenhagen flailed his arms wildly in the air as he attempted to regain his balance. Sadly, however, he failed to renew his equipoisal equanimity and fell heavily to the floor. His earhole-less skull crashed onto a heartless flagstone, and cracked open, causing the Baron's blood and brain fluids to commingle with the juices of his beloved raw drumsticks.

And that was the end of the von Cuckenhagen line. And the moral of the story is that there is none.

Copyright © S R Schwarz 2007. All rights reserved.

refresh screen